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A book is a written document forming a unit and designated as such, containing pages of paper or cardboard connected to each other.

The book is defined by Littre as “a meeting of several sheets for supporting a manuscript or printed text.” In his New Universal Dictionary (1870 edition), Maurice Lachâtre defined it as “assembly of several sheets of paper, vellum, parchment, printed or hand-written and sewn together forming a volume covered with a sheet of paper, cardboard, parchment, sheepskin, calf, morocco, etc. ”

As for the academic definitions:

“Assembly of handwritten or printed sheets to be read. In antiquity and the Middle Ages, following handwritten sheets together in a band wrapped around a cylinder, or folded and stitched booklets. In modern times, assembly of printed paper sheets, forming a bound or unbound.”

“Associating sheets, register where various information is worn, various evidence.”

A more technical definition is given by Unesco: “non-periodical printed publication of at least 49 pages, cover pages, published in the country and made available to the public. ”

A physical description of the book can retain the following three functions: support of writing, dissemination, and preservation of varied texts, transportability. At the hardware level, a book is a volume of bound pages, with texts under a common title page. The form induces a linear organization (pagination, chapters, etc.). It also includes access to “snap” tool (index). There are a lot of books by genre, intellectual structuring, recipients, according to the method of manufacture and formats, depending on usage. Exceptions, such as the artist’s book, a book is published in multiple copies by a publisher, as evidenced by the identifiers that is included mandatory.

In intellectual work designed by an author, the book serves as an interface with a reader and extends communication capabilities beyond space and time. Cultural objects for human history, it helps to convey meaning in a particular physical form. For the reader, “a book is an extension of memory and imagination. ”

The Book Science

The science of the book is called Bibliology; it relates the history of the book and its manufacturing, distribution and conservation. The study of the book, in its part has many economic, sociological, political and ideological aspects: the book as a product (technical, publishing, broadcasting opportunities or not, etc.), as a work (aesthetics its binding, for example), etc. Furthermore, reading is the usual purpose of the book, adding a sociology and history of reading (public and private libraries, how to read …). Other sciences are also interested in the book:

  • bibliometrics;
  • codicology;
  • paleography.

Translated from Wikipedia

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